You can’t go a few days in Colorado, especially the metro areas, and avoid hearing about the latest auto accident fatality or pedestrian hit and run. According to the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), traffic deaths have spiked to 24 percent since 2014. Authorities believe something must change to avoid senseless deaths.
CDOT believes education and awareness can help mitigate the issue and bring down traffic-related deaths throughout the state. In 2017, CDOT launched a seat belt safety campaign to help increase the use from 84%. In CDOT’s accident-related data from the last several years, unbelted occupants are over-represented and could be a contributing factor to the rise in deaths. Half of the passenger fatalities reported in 2016 were unbelted.
In 2016 and 2017, the death tolls from accidents rose over 600+. This is the first time that’s happened in the state since 2005.
CDOT estimates that of the 3.8 million licensed drivers in Colorado, one in every 33 will be in an accident this year. With the number of folks moving to Colorado from other parts of the country and the growing housing market, these numbers will only rise unless Colorado drivers act to prevent accidents across the state.
Data also shows that motorcycle fatalities are on the rise, with a record high in 2016 with 125 deaths. This is almost a 50 percent increase since 2012, with only 79 deaths on record. With more drivers behind the wheel of an automobile than ever before in the state, everyone needs to be aware of sharing the road with one another to help prevent more fatalities.
CDOT encourage drivers to buckle up, reduce speeds, stay off their phones, and of course, avoid drugs and alcohol when getting behind the wheel. CDOT continues to support law enforcement organizations, government agencies, and non-profits to help enforce sobriety checkpoint and education programs to help reduce alcohol-related crashes.
Unfortunately, Colorado isn’t alone in its rise of car and motorcycle fatalities. Nationwide, deaths are up about eight percent. As cities and states across the US struggle to find ways to reduce fatalities, CDOT looks to continue to make drivers aware of what they can do to help save lives.